Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls Recipe ( Tastes Just like a Cinnabon! )

This recipe's been in my recipe box for years and it's what we had on Easter Sunday for breakfast along with our boiled eggs and toast. I made half the recipe because I knew if I made the whole thing we'd eat them all and I didn't want to go there! These are obviously delicious. Who can resist a fresh gooey cinnamon roll?

All ready to be rolled up.

After the second rising. Ready for the oven.

Fresh from the oven.

Frosted and ready to eat.

How to Make an Easter Bunny Cake

Last year I tried to make a bunny cake and failed so miserably that I took it apart, re-frosted it and left it plain. It was terrible. I couldn't even bring myself to take a picture of it. This year I got smart and looked up instructions! The first thing you need to do is bake your favourite cake in a around pan. I used a spring form. Then whip up a batch of your favourite frosting. About 1 1/2 cups should do. I'll tell you a secret. I cheated on this one. I used a French vanilla boxed mix (baked according to package directions) and a tub of icing from my friend Betty Crocker.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tsoureki - Greek Easter Bread Recipe

The third bread recipe I made in preparation for Easter was Tsoureki. It was really yummy. If you're going to freeze it bake it without the egg. The red egg (in case you were wondering) represents the blood of Christ. Okay, so mine turned out pink because red food colouring doesn't do the trick, but you can purchase good quality red dyes if you want to make your eggs really red. Like my hot cross buns, the Tsoureki recipe called for nuts (this time on top) but I forgot to bring them to my mom's house and she didn't have any on hand. Once you add the glaze, add the sliced almonds on top before continuing to bake. Our friend Pavlina sprinkles her Easter bread with sesame seeds and bakes it in a loaf pan. I sampled hers over the weekend and I do like the flavour the seeds add. One other thing I did was use blood orange instead of a regular orange. Use what you've got (or what your mom's got). The glaze from the original recipe wasn't enough to coat both of my loaves so I had to double it. I may have let it thicken more than I was supposed to.

Forget the zester, this is better. Peel the rind off with a vegetable peeler and chop it with a knife. You get bigger chunks this way and more flavour (in my opinion).

Here's the finished bread.
You can see the beautiful flecks of orange.

Homemade Bacon, Onion and Cheddar Pierogies (Perogies)

The only problem with this pierogie recipe is that you may end up eating the filling before you get a chance to fill the pierogies. It's really that good.

Here's the filling before I mixed it.

Getting ready to fold the circles over.

Pinch the edges well so the filling doesn't come out during cooking.

Boiled pierogies. Perfectly sealed.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hot Cross Buns - English Easter Bread Recipe

After the Polish Chalka, I tried making hot cross buns for the first time. They were very good and not too sweet. I used raisins, chopped dates and chopped apricots. The recipe called for a glaze but I made these at my mom's house and I forgot to bring my packet of gelatin so I improvised and made a different type of glaze. I also forgot to bring nuts but you can add them to the recipe if you like.

Here are the buns after baking. The egg glaze helps them get nice and brown.

Here they are with the sugar glaze on them.

Chalka - Polish Easter Bread Recipe

For the past few days I just felt like working with dough, so in preparation for Easter, I made 3 different kinds of Easter Bread and Pierogies. My mom made cabbage rolls but I didn't get a picture of them when they were finished so you'll have to wait until after Easter for that recipe.

This recipe for Polish Chalka worked out really well. I used a combination of raisins and chopped dried apricots but you can use 1 cup of dried fruits of your choice. The original recipe called for golden raisins, but I didn't have any.

Here's the dough after the first rising.

To make braids, divide the dough in 3 sections, then make ropes then braid. Tuck the ends under.

If you make your ropes long enough, you can bring the ends of your braid together to form a wreath. Reserve 1/4 of the dough to make eggs and a bow. Add food colouring to the beaten egg to add colour before baking.

Here's just a simple braid.

The finished product. I got both of these out of one recipe. Multiply the recipe for more loaves.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Persian Spinach and Yogurt Dip (Borani Esfanaj) Recipe

This is delicious. Make sure you brown the onions and garlic enough without burning them so they get sweet.

The Best Banana Bread / Cake Recipe EVER

This is my favourite banana bread/cake recipe. It's the only one I ever use and everyone who eats it loves it too.

This one has walnuts.

 To make a heart you put half the batter in a round pan and the other half in a square pan. When they're cooked and cooled. Cut the circle cake in half. Turn your square so you see a diamond. Add each half of the circle to the top edges of the diamond. Frost and drizzle with melted white chocolate, then put some toasted coconut around the edges.

On medium heat, cook 1 cup each frozen blueberries, frozen raspberries raspberries and 3 tablespoons sugar until the berries melt together into a sauce. Sprinkle on 1 teaspoon corn starch and stir until thickened. Remove from heat and chill until ready to use. Spread between layers of cake.
Walnuts and chocolate chips.

Simple Crepe Recipe

I love crepes for breakfast. This is an easy and delicious recipe that my whole family enjoys. My husband and daughter like theirs with syrup but I like mine with a sprinkle of sugar and a squeeze of fresh orange juice inside (then roll it up).

My daugher's crepe with syrup on it.

Mine with a sprinkle of sugar and squeeze of fresh orange inside.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Jamaican Beef Dumpling Recipe

These were tasty but I was dissapointed by the texture of the dough. It was crispy and chewy (if that makes sense). It's completely my fault for thinking I could bake wonton wrappers and get a good result. I'm not that picky so I ate them anyway, but the truth is the texture would be much better if you go ahead and fry these in oil. The recipe is worth sharing anyway just becaue the filling was really delicious!

The filling.

Folded up. Nothing fancy.

Fresh from the oven.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Imli Chatni (Indian Tamarind Sauce / Chutney) Recipe

This was a very nice sauce. First it's sweet but then you get a hint of sourness from the tamarind and the flavour of the cumin. It would be good to serve with samosas or other fried appetizers. Maybe even as a dip for chicken or wings.

Honey (or Maple Syrup) Glazed Salmon Recipe

This was super simple and I thought it was delicious. The glaze was too sweet for my husband but you could always leave it off if you have someone in your house that doesn't have a love for sweeter foods.

Chinese Vegetable Fried Rice with Egg Recipe

Here's a great way to use leftover rice. I always keep frozen vegetables on hand for emergencies.

Tuna Salad Recipe

A delicious way to eat tuna and mix a few veggies in while you're at it. Serve it on whole wheat pita, toast or crackers. Yum!

The first day I made a stuffed pita.

I used the second half of the mix the day after on crackers. Great lunch!

Sundried Tomato Cream Cheese Recipe

This recipe is so simple it's ridiculous. But it was delicious and I figured I'd share it anyway because I enjoyed it so much.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cracker Crusted Pork Chops with Mango Salsa Recipe

This was so yummy. You can use Ritz crackers. I used something similar but they were mini kids buttery crackers. Same flavour though. Even my 10 month old loved this dinner, especially the asparagus and salsa (onions and all) if you can believe it. I'm raising 2 future vegetarians I think. They both love veggies.

I actually bought these plates for my kids. I went into the Salvation Army store last week looking for cookbooks and they were looking at me. There were 2 of them so I though that was just perfect and brought them home. I also brought home a few old cookbooks that I haven't had time to go through yet.

So fresh and delicious.

Slow Cooker (crockpot) Pot Roast Recipe

This dish is very simple and quick to prepare. It's my favourite Slow Cooker recipe.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Double Duty Chocolate Chip and Raisin Cookie (whole wheat) Recipe

The texture of these cookies is a bit cakey. They are soft but not chewy. I made a small batch of dough and divided in half to make two different kinds of cookies. I used both all purpose and whole wheat flour.

Raisin on the left, chocolate chip on the right.

Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup with Corn Recipe

This was really delicious. I had left over corn on the cob so I just sliced the kernels off and used them in the soup. You could use frozen corn instead.

This soup looked better in person. Not one of my best photos here.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Salami Recipe

My favourite way to eat a grilled cheese is with salami on it. You may notice mine is a little thin. That's because I used 2 slices of Weight Watchers multigrain bread, but you can use any bread you like.

How to Boil Eggs

I guess most people know how to boil eggs already, but just in case, here's how I do it. Actually, this is how my grandmother told me to boil them.

Beautiful Hard Boiled Eggs

Salad-e Olivieh (aka Salade Olivier) Persian Potato Salad Recipe

I use less mayonnaise than most Persian people would, but since I'm not Persian (just married to one), I guess it's okay. In fact, I only buy Miracle Whip because it's about 1/2 the calories of regular mayo. You can add another cup if you don't mind the extra calories and use whatever brand you prefer.

You can see the difference between persian pickles (on the left) and dill pickles. Persian pickles also have a special flavour to them that comes from fresh tarragon in the brine. Mmmm! They also come in a larger size and can be purchased in jars or cans. We usually get them at the Persian grocery stores but I've also seen them in the international aisle at my regular grocery store. They're worth looking for.

Here's what the salad looks like all mixed up.

How to Boil and Eat Corn on the Cob

This is how my mom taught me to boil corn. Even when it's not in season, you can still make your corn taste sweet. The way I eat it takes a bit longer but you'll never see me picking corn out of my teeth when I'm done.